All the Scriptures and the divine books have a particular way of stating things. When this thing is deliberated upon it is observed that God explains a thing in different ways supplementing it with examples and parables because man is not versed with the unconscious and spiritual sciences, which are altogether different from those of the conscious and worldly sciences, and the divine sciences prove to be burdensome for the conscious. By narrating the same thing in different ways God wants to lighten the burden and makes the things easier for the conscious, which it experiences during learning the divine sciences.
The style of narration and the way of presenting the contents of the book Loh-o-Qalum, authored by His Grace Qalander Baba Auliya are purely spiritual and intuitive. The same thing has been explained in different ways and reiterated by giving suitable easy-to-understand examples. The same is the style of all the divine books whether it is the Holy Quran, Old or New Testaments, or Geeta. In explaining the contents of Loh-o-Qalum, too, things have been elaborated from different angles.
The Elohistic Knowledge descends to become the perception of the creatures. The cosmic knowledge of God descends, gradually, step by step, to become the form and features and produces urges of life in the creatures. After completing its descent, the Elohistic Knowledge rises back towards its Source. ‘Verily, everything comes from God and then returns to Him.’ (Quran)
When the knowledge transforms into perception, if the perception stays for some time at a point, that is, it attains depth, it transforms into sight. As long as depth is not produced in the perception, it stays in the form of a thought. When the perception enters the limits of thoughts, a very dim image is produced. This dim image stirs the senses and the presence of the image is felt within the limits of thoughts. It means that in the limits of thoughts to the senses operate but they function only in the form of sight. When the thinking about the image felt within remains focused on it, for a few more moments, form and features pertaining to that image start appearing before the inner vision. When these features are consolidated due to the continuous focusing of attention on that point, the image whether it is of a thing, individual, or a species, becomes communicative and conversant. If this power of speech remains focused on that thing, for some more time, variegation surrounds the feelings and thoughts and the senses are filled with a power to feel the presence of that thing physically and tactually.
For this explanation, this law becomes explicitly clear that only the various stages and states of knowledge have been denominated as thought, sight, speech, smell, and touch. Or to say, only one reality or information keeps on changing various shapes and forms at different stages. Just as a thought is knowledge, the sight too is knowledge. And, since the basis of everything is knowledge, therefore, all the stages that follow the sight are also only knowledge.
All that is stated so far concerns the descending state of knowledge. When knowledge descends and enters the physical world, the human senses feel it tactually and because of the materialization of knowledge into a solid form call it matter. This is the final stage and the last degree of feeling the presence of a thing, an object, or an individual.
Man or any other creature is born when it is made to descend into this material world. The soul or the Lord’s Edict prepares a body of flesh and bones for its display and to express itself. After reaching the final stage of its descent, human thinking starts its ascent and gradually recedes away from the senses, which it was using so far. When a newborn baby enters the second day of his life, the first day of his life becomes a reaction of the descending movement of his life and the record of the first day starts ascending. This very chain of reaction and their reactions produces the realization of Time and Space.
After the moment of birth, the child enters into another moment, and with this entry, all the characteristics; organs, and the senses of the baby, undergo a change. This very change is Time and Space.
This thing keeps on recording in his conscious, consciously or unconsciously and involuntarily that he is entering from one moment into another, from one day into another, from one month into another, and from one year into another year. This journey of life is based upon Time and Space, that is, the Time and Space give us this knowledge that we are, gradually and systematically, getting away from what we were so close a while ago.
When this recession takes over the whole life, death is the result. Recession purports to getting away from the descending movement of the knowledge and getting closer to the ascending movement of that point which is knowledge and the knower, at the same time. When death takes over, the soul learns altogether a new knowledge based upon the past experiences of Time and Space. This new version of knowledge cannot be learnt remaining within the confines of Time and Space, that is, the soul learns to use its sight and other senses without using the medium of the body of flesh and bones. A whole new world appears before its vision and sight, which cannot be sighted by means of the physical eyes.
How did the sight was bestowed upon the creatures of the universe and how did the creatures perceived other creatures and what are the laws related to the sight, all these things have been discussed in detail.
When God considered it befitting to put an end to the static position of the existents and wanted to put them in motion, He addressed the existents and asked them, “ Am I not your Lord?” With the echoing of God’s Voice in the universe, everything became attentive towards it and this laid the foundations of the consciousness in all the existents. This consciousness acknowledged the Lordship of God all in its humility. After having this realization that besides them there exists another being who is the Creator of the existents, the creatures also saw the existents other than themselves. This witnessing of the other creatures and existents of the universal family is termed, The Ethereal or the Allegorical Realm, by the Sufis.
Eleven Thousand Names
The Sabita, Khafi and Akhfa are collectively known as Ilm-ul-Qalum. All that is inscribed in a luminous writing upon the Preserved Scriptorium is called the Knowledge of the Pen (Ilm-ul-Qalum). This knowledge can be divided into two parts. One is the Elohistic Appellations and the other is the Mystical Letters, like alif, lam, meem & kaf, ha, ya, ain, saad, etc. appearing in the beginning of certain chapters of the Quran. The Elohistic Appellations are those Attributes of God that have been used in the creation of the universe. This thing can also be narrated in this manner that all the creative formulae, in fact, are the Attributes of God. And, the attributes of God that are the basis of creation are about eleven thousand in numbers. These eleven thousand attributes can incorporate into one person and can also be the eleven thousand species. These attributes have been subdivided into three cadres of Implied Names, Substantial Names, and Controlling Names.
In defining the soul Nasma has been mentioned. Nasma (aura) is also of three types.
1. Compound Nasma.
2. Simple Nasma
3. The Absolute Nasma
The Compound Nasma is composed of two subtleties of Heart and the Self, which are collectively termed as the Animal Soul. The simple Nasma is composed of the Subtleties of the Spirit and the Arcanum, which are collectively known as the Human Soul. The Absolute Nasma is a collection of Latent and Obscure Subtleties and is also known as the Great Soul.
Further exposition of this thing is that the compound Nasma forming from the Subtleties of Heart and Self is also called the Confluence (Jowiya), another name of Human soul or the collection of Arcanum and the Spirit, is Ain or Aayan and the collection of Obscure and Latent Subtleties; the Great Soul is also known as Sabita. Mystics and Sufis have named that light as taddalla (The Divine Inclination) in which a person can peruse the record of sabita.
The event of the Ascension of the Holy Prophet and his perambulating in the havens, in fact, is the activation of Divine Inclination, that is, by mentioning this event in the Holy Quran, we are told that when the Holy Prophet(PBUH) Ascended on the journey of heavens, both the subtleties of the Great Soul were fully active and functioning at their full swing.
Expediency concerning the birth and creation of the existent, the reason behind every rise and fall are inscribed in this taddalla. One can witness the soul of every particle when the lights of the Great Soul enlighten a person with the knowledge of the Divine Inclination, and he can peruse the lights that contain the record of all the events from eternity to infinity. The Divine Inclination (taddalla) is composed of two points and these two points contain all the Knowledge, Expediencies, and the details of the Will of God in a short form just like a microfilm containing a voluminous book in it, similarly all the secrets pertaining to the creation of the universe and the formulae concerning the governance of the universe are stored in these two points.
The first descent and first introduction of the Attributes of God is that God is the Omniscient and in His capacity of Omniscient no one can be parallel to Him nor He shares His particular Knowledge with anyone. As the Omniscient, He has particularised His Knowledge and the Attributes for Himself. No flight of human perception or thinking can have even the slightest idea of this Knowledge of God.
The Attributes of God that have been transferred to the existents and have become parts of the mechanism of the universe are collectively known as the Incumbent Knowledge (Ilm-e-wajib). The knowledge of Incumbent means that knowledge that has been transferred to the existents, that is, it refers to those Attributes of God with which existents enjoy an affinity and correlation. The Knowledge of Incumbent is also known as the Knowledge of the Pen (Ilm-eQalum).
First Descent is that state when God exhibited the program present in His Mind as He Willed. The creative formulae of the cosmos are the secrets of the First Descent. Why did God opt to create the universe and what is the Will of God, which He intends to accomplish? Reflection of all these things is found in sabita; The Firmly Affixed Inscription. One side of sabita is the Obscure Subtlety (akhfa) and the other side is the Latent Subtlety (khafi). These two are the very same points, which are collectively known as the Great Soul and the Absolute Nasma, as well. Sabita is the storehouse of eleven thousand Beatific Visions of God. The person, who manages to have the acquaintance of these two subtleties, can observe these eleven thousand Beatific Visions. It will not be out of place to remind that these two subtleties of akhfa and khafi are found in every human being irrespective of the fact that who he is, what he is or to where does he belong.
God may bless every spiritual associate with the love of his/her mentor. When the mentor using his conductive influence, charges these two subtleties and activates them, in his student, then the spiritual associate comes to know that man, in his capacity of the knower, is only a part of the Knowledge of God. He also realizes this fact that God, in His capacity of the Omniscient, is the Whole and he, being a partial omniscient, witnesses that knowledge, which was transferred to him at the stage of First Descent.
In order to have knowledge of any type about anything, it is necessary that one should focus one’s attention on one point after vacating one’s mind completely from all other things. Man, in his capacity of the Great Soul, enjoys a memory and if he intends to recall, recollect, witness, or to benefit him from that, then he ought to become attentive in this regard. And, to be successfully attentive, especially in this regard, muraqba is the only tested method. The more one develops engrossment in muraqba, the more successfully one can read this memory. Concentration in muraqba results in witnessing the impressions of the Beatific Visions in dreams and when this concentration is further consolidated; the spiritual associate can see, all the eleven thousand Beatific Visions, even in the state of wakefulness.
The basic technique for having access to this memory is to get control over the sleeping habit. A spiritual associate is required to remain awake and should not sleep for more than two and a half-hour in twenty-four hours. We have developed this habit that we sleep after awakening and awaken after having slept. For as many hours we develop the habit of sleeping, it becomes the demand of our disposition.
It has been stated time and again that man is nothing but sight and, just as the sight functions during wakefulness; it functions during sleep as well, although the functioning of sight and the impressions of the seen things are either bright or dim. Deep impressions cause the seen things to remain afresh in the memory for a longer period whether this seeing happens during wakefulness or sleep. One tends to remember the deeper impressions and forgets the lighter ones.
What the soul is?
In order to understand something properly and to explore facts about that, it is vitally important that we should focus our attention upon it with the best of our abilities and should arrange to be aware of all the factors involved therein. For acquainting with the Supreme Being of God, to know of Him and His attributes, it is necessary to ponder and deliberate in God’s created universe.
If an artist who has never drawn a picture on the canvas, no matter how able he is, cannot be introduced as an artist. We call an artist, an artist only when his handy works are there before us. For cognizing the Creator and to have the realization of His Attributes the creatures are duty-bound to strive for developing cognition of the Lord Creator and to have, as much as possible, knowledge of the creative formulae operative in the universe. When we ponder about the universe, we are leading up to two basic things. One, the life is flowing through in the universe, and the second; someone is controlling the life. An individual remains active as long as something, responsible for keeping the existents alive, is supplying life to him and when this thing breaks off its connection with an individual, the individual loses a life. It is such a process that is taking place in all the individuals of the universe. That life-providing thing is the soul.
What is the soul? The soul is a word that has been generated in the Mind of God and, since God is Boundless, Invariable and far above from deterioration and decomposing, therefore, the Word of God is also invariant, perpetually kinetic, and would remain in this state from eternity to infinity. It is, therefore, not wrong to conclude that soul is a perpetual and continuous motion.
When the constituents of the universe are taken into consideration, we do find even a single thing, which could be an exception to this law. When the spiritual potential of man are discussed and one wants to understand the structure and formation of the soul, one has to admit that the soul wants to remain in motion ceaselessly and as long as the motion is maintained, one functions actively and participates in the daily routines of life. This can be stated as an axiom that the whole universe is a motion. All the existents of the universe, remaining in association with one another, are moving according to an unfailing system.
Our own creation and birth are evident upon this. There does not exist a single moment, from the time of our inception till our birth in this world and then from our birth till death, when the movement is not there.
When we analyze human life closely it is observed that the life of everyone is being controlled by two minds, the conscious and the unconscious. The feelings and the mental state when one is under the influence of the conscious mind are altogether different from those when one is under the control of the unconscious mind but the movement and the activity of life do not stop even for a fraction of a second.
Therefore, whether one is in the conscious state of mind or in the unconscious remains in motion. When one is in the conscious state of mind, the movements performed in that state remain within the confines of time and space, this state is known as wakefulness. And, when one is in the unconscious state of mind one is liberated from the Spatio-temporal constraints, this state is known as dreaming or sleep. Analysis of modes of sighting and understanding helps in concluding that when an action is undertaken voluntarily and wilfully, it is remembered but if we are undertaking an activity inattentively then that activity is not retained by the memory. It is true for both the states of wakefulness and sleep. One can remember even the events and activities of one’s life enacted during sleep if one could learn to remain attentive towards them just as we remember those activities of wakefulness to which we pay attention.
Man’s disposition compels him to go to sleep and after some time forces him to wake up. It means that man has developed the habit of having awakened the unconscious when he sleeps and when he awakes the conscious becomes active making the unconscious go to sleep. In order to awaken the unconscious during wakefulness and to know the activities of the conscious properly, we have to understand this habit of ours.
We can develop the habit of remaining awake for most of the time so that the activities of the Unconscious could be studied even in wakefulness. In the beginning, going against the set habit of sleeping appears to be quite difficult and cumbersome but if the practice to remain awake is continued then gradually one starts getting used to this practice. When one masters to remain awake for two days and two nights continuously, one gets so calmed down that the unconscious activities can be witnessed with closed eyes. If this practice is further continued and one could win the battle against the sleeping habit, then after practicing for a month or so. One can witness the unconscious activities even with open eyes and one gets acquainted with the Unseen Realms gradually.
Witnessing the Unconscious activities or to enter the Unseen Realms to develop acquaintance with that realm, through closed eyes, in Sufism, is termed as warood (Reminiscence). Further practicing gives this much strength to the sight that one can observe the inner world even in awaking, with open eyes. This state in Sufis’ terminology is called shahood (Observation).
It is very important that this exercise must only be carried out under the supervision of one’s spiritual mentor; otherwise, it could prove harmful and can cause damage to the mental state. This also is necessary that only those teachers should let their disciples do these exercises who themselves have successfully completed these exercises and are able to witness the Unseen Realm.